Published August 15th, 2023 at 11:00 AM5 minute read
Kansas City native Alex Parker has always had his pulse on climate change and the factors that affect it. The older he got, the more interested he became. When Alex and his wife had their son, he decided he wanted to make actionable changes to help ensure a better and more sustainable future.
In July 2023, Parker announced expansion of his program, Craft for Climate, to his hometown of Kansas City. He’s already got 10 local breweries on board. The list includes Crane Brewing, BKS Artisan Ales, Alma Mader Brewing, Fringe Beerworks, East Forty Brewing, Limitless Brewing, Servaes Beer Co. and newly opened Friction Beer Co. He’s also partnered with Recyclverse, which will collect all of the plastic.
The program is a pretty simple process for customers. Anytime you buy cans that have plastic carriers, don’t throw them out. Instead, you can take them to any of the breweries mentioned above. They’ll have labeled bins where you can drop the toppers. Once full, the toppers will be collected by Recyclverse, which will then grind it all down and create new sustainable products such as flower vases, jewelry and more.
Before starting Craft for Climate, Parker was a beer lover with a day job in communications with Molson Coors. He decided to see if he could marry his love of craft beer with more sustainable practices within breweries. While taking leadership training by the Climate Reality Project, he was able to meet a few like-minded folks. Upon learning that most plastic can carriers end up in a landfill, he realized he had the perfect opportunity to help change that. This ultimately led to the creation of Craft for Climate.
With the help of Rob Vandenabeele, founder of EcoFriendlyBeer.com, who was running a similar program in Massachusetts, Parker was able to bring his idea to life.
The program was supposed to kick off a few years ago but like everything else, COVID wreaked havoc and forced Parker to hit pause. Thankfully, he was able to officially launch the program in 2021.
Although Parker is a Kansas City native, he currently lives outside of Chicago, which is where he chose to initially launch the program. So far, now Parker has been able to partner with 50 breweries and bottle shops throughout the Chicagoland area. As the organization continued to grow, he knew it was time to expand out of Chicago.
Parker’s current focus is to continue to build out the Kansas City market along with his local ambassador Jeremy Hogan. Once he feels Kansas City and Chicago are built out as much as possible he’ll consider expanding to other areas. He’s already garnered interest from breweries in New York, California and more. His hope is that eventually all breweries will be participating in this program or something similar.
If you’d like to learn more about Alex’s passion project and how you can help, you can visit his website. You can also see what they’re up to via social media on both Facebook and Instagram. Lastly, you can purchase merch from their store which does include a suite of Kansas City-themed items.
Strange Days Brewing — 316 Oak St., Kansas City, Missouri — decided to brew one more fruited beer as the summer begins to wind down. Their latest brew is Peach Trafficway, an American-style wheat ale with peaches. The 4.9% beer was made with pilsner and white wheat malt. It was then topped off with fresh pureed peaches. Stop by to grab one as we begin to say goodbye to summer.
Alma Mader Brewery — 2635 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri — has a new version of their Trichrome series out. The 7% hazy IPA always contains Citra, Simcoe and Mosaic hops. However, this version also features a heavy dose of Simcoe Cryo hops. The balanced bitterness pairs perfectly with the pillowy mouthfeel making it an incredibly easy-drinking beer.
Vine Street Brewing — 2010 Vine St., Kansas City, Missouri — continues to crank out new beers. This week’s release is called Steel Fountains, a dark German wheat ale that comes in at 6.3% ABV. The first thing you’ll notice are the aromas of toffee, caramel and tropical fruit. The flavors follow the classic German characteristics of caramelized bananas, some light sweetness from the malt, and of course a bit of clove.
Cinder Block Brewery — 110 E. 18th Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri — has a new beer this week called Tepache Sour. As the name suggests, the beer mimics the popular Tepache drink from Mexico. Tepache is essentially a pineapple beer. Cinder Block’s version is loaded with pineapple, brown sugar, cinnamon and clove. The ingredients were added to a base sour beer resulting in a tart but refreshing drink. It also has a low ABV of 4.3% making this an easy drinker.
Grains & Taps — 10 S.W. 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri — came out with a new black IPA called Escape Groom. It’s got a blend of El Dorado, Rakau, Calypso and Barbe Rouge hops. This combo leads to notes of tropical fruit, stone fruit, pear and berry. The 7.5% ale is perfectly balanced between roasted malt complexity and hop bitterness.
East Forty Brewing — 1201 W. Main St., Blue Springs, Missouri — just released a beer called Intergalactic Voyager. It’s a New England-style double IPA with a hefty 9% ABV. It’s packed with lots of Galaxy and Strata hops leading to a universe of fruity flavors. Be sure to grab a pint before it disappears.
Friction Beer Co. — 11018 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, Kansas — has a new beer on tap this week. They just put out Thunder Island, a pale ale with Citra and Sabro hops. This combination leads to juicy tropical notes with just a bit of coconut. At 5.9%, it’s perfect for those hot afternoons.
Servaes Brewing Co. — 10921 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, Kansas — has a fun event planned with lots of Polynesian vibes. Servaes will be hosting a Tiki Party Beer Release night. The brewery will release four Tiki-inspired beers of their own while also featuring one Tiki-themed guest beer. Irvzilla’s Hawaiian Grill food truck will be on site from 3-9 p.m. serving authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Mooyueibaker will also be hanging out from 5-8 p.m. selling delicious sweet treats. The entire event will run from 2-10 p.m.
ExBEERiment — 925 E. Lincoln Lane, Gardner, Kansas — is taking their Sunday bingo event and adding a good cause this week. They’ll be doing Beer For A Cure, which is a music themed bingo event. The brewery will donate 10% of the proceeds from the event to Overrun, an organization dedicated to the research, advocacy and awareness of ovarian cancer. Prizes consist of $50 and $75 gift cards plus a raffle for a Yeti cooler.
Fields & Ivy Brewery — 706 E. 23rd St., Lawrence, Kansas — will be welcoming in Head and Heart Health & Wellness for a Yoga on Tap event. The class will take place on Field & Ivy’s patio and is open to everyone regardless of skill level. The class will last an hour and end with a free beer. You must bring your own yoga mat, but reservations are not required.
Alex Andujar is a former beer sales rep turned personal trainer. When he’s not training clients you can find him trying new beers at many of Kansas City’s great local breweries.